It’s no doubt that Italy’s rich cuisine is a big selling point for tourists alike, but here are some ideas for the most tempting guided food tours off the beaten path that will give you the best taste of Italy
If you’re looking to explore Italy and you love food, you must not overlook the opportunity to experience a privately-guided food tour through one of Italy’s historic and beautiful cities. Guided by Italians who have a particular affinity for the area, it will allow you to taste the true delicacies of the region without risking a pitfall in one of those dreaded tourist traps.
Italy is a country that takes a lot of pride in its cuisine, and with good reason. It is a culture that puts a lot of importance on food products, especially locally grown items, and you will find that each region has its own particular dishes for which it is known.
An ideal foodie tour planned by Italy Customized, brings us to the heart of Tuscan culture: Florence. The day begins experiencing the city like a true Italian, visiting the local outdoor market. It’s quite an exciting experience to see the hustle and bustle of the locals shopping for their produce, meats, and everything in between. A guide will direct you to the best local farmers’ stands, beginning with a tasting of various cheeses like ricotta and buffalo mozzarella. And of course what’s a little cheese without some hand sliced cured Tuscan prosciutto, fresh bread and roasted porchetta? Tuscan prosciutto is a bit more salty, in comparison to prosciutto di Parma, which is usually characterized as sweet. The Tuscan version goes quite well with bread, which, one must know before coming here, lacks salt! Roasted porchetta may be just about one of the most delectable things you’ll bite into: meat from a slow roasted pig, often served to you sliced on a sheet of wax paper.
Next stop: truffle paradise. Now, truffles are not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, you either love them or hate them. In any case, they are something to try at least once, and this foodie walk throughout Florence brings you to a wonderful store tucked away in the center that specializes in this delicacy with their particular taste. You can enjoy here a wonderful truffle panini accompanied by a glass of prosecco, an Italian white sparkling wine that hails from the northern town of Trieste. Then pop into an olive oil boutique, yes, a boutique. Olive oil in fact plays a very important role in the Tuscan cuisine as it has completely replaced butter as a cooking agent. Since much of the Tuscan countryside is sprinkled with olive trees, a large portion of oil production comes from this region. At a small store, you’ll have the opportunity to taste only locally made olive oils that bear the DOP label. When it comes to things like this, you’ll learn just how important food origin is to Italians.
As the sun starts to set, aperitivo time will fall upon the city and your tour will continue. Aperitvo is essentially the Italian “Happy Hour.” Begin just before with a Tuscan wine tour. Chianti, Brunello, Montepulciano: just a few of your companions for the evening. Learn about these wines, taste testing a variety of reds and whites as well as local snacks that are well paired with each. This part of the tour allows you to mingle with the locals and see how a typical evening in Florence gets started.
Eating in Italy can be one of the best experiences but also one of the most indecisive. If you’re a true foodie looking to get the “real” food experience in Italy, sometimes it’s difficult to know where exactly to go and if you’ve stumbled upon one of those ghastly tourist traps. This tailor made “foodie walk” lets you taste the real Italy off the beaten path.
About the author:
MY NAME IS HEATHER, I’M A FELLOW AMERICAN LIVING IN ITALY, TRAVELLING AND WRITING